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Mother raises awareness of heat-related illnesses after losing son to heat stroke 13 years ago

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Temperatures have already been in the 90s this past week. Just a few minutes outdoors and that heat is overwhelming.

Many may remember the name Max Gilpin. Gilpin was a young teen who died 13 years ago after suffering a heat stroke. His mother continues to bring awareness of how dangerous heat related illnesses can be.

Michele Crockett’s mission in life is to bring awareness so no parent feels the pain she does.

“I got the phone call that he was down on the football field,” Crockett said.

Crockett’s son, was 15 years old and a sophomore defensive linemen at Pleasure Ridge Park High School. In August 2008, he collapsed at a football practice. The heat index was 94 degrees.

Gilpin was rushed to Norton Children’s Hospital, where doctors and nurses tried to cool his body down. His core body temperature was 107. Gilpin’s organs started to fail, he died a few days later.

“I wasn’t really aware of the severity of heat illness at this time,” Crockett said. “Of course, he has brought attention to that, that is our main goal.”

Crockett’s mission is education. She does that through an event partnering with Norton Children’s Hospital created to honor her son. The 5K has grown into the Splash n’ Dash.

This year, the event is taking place on August 7 at the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park. Crockett has this message as children return to school and athletics.

“Be sure they stay hydrated and start the day before continue to hydrate and take breaks when needed,” Crockett said.

Crockett said it’s also important to teach children at a younger age to speak up when they don’t feel well because of the heat.

This case caught the attention of the nation and the courts as Gilpin’s coach, Jason Stinson, faced criminal charges. Stinson was found not guilty of wanton endangerment and reckless homicide.

For more information on the Splash ‘n’ Dash, click or tap here.

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